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Business Exit Planning

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What You May Get Wrong About Business Valuations

Business valuations are important to successful planning. They tell you what your business is worth to a potential buyer. Though business valuations seem simple on the surface, even the smartest and most successful business owners can misinterpret their importance. Business valuations generally tell you two things. First, they tell you whether you ...
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Optionality and Your Plans for Your Business Future

When many business owners first think about their business futures, their first question is, "Whom am I going to sell this business to once it's my time to leave it?" It makes sense for owners to ask this question first, since the answer to that question can guide how their futures look. But this is a backward way of shaping a plan. Consider the sh...
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Shaping Your Plans for a Successful Future

When we talk about planning for the future, we often talk creating a plan. The idea of creating something as big as a plan for the future can imply a ton of from-scratch work (as is often the case), which can cause you to want to put that ton of work off to another day. As a successful (and likely busy) owner, you may not think you have time to cre...
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Successful Planning Starts Much Earlier Than You Think

Many business owners believe they have plenty of time to create a successful plan for the future of their businesses. Most commonly, owners think that if they give themselves a few years, they can transform their businesses into whatever they need them to be: whether that means bigger, more valuable, or more easily sold/transferred. And while each ...
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Fairness and Equity Among Family Members

​ If you're like many business owners, your business plays a large role in supporting your family's lifestyle. As you plan for your business' future, you may run into questions about how to treat family members fairly in your plans. This is especially crucial if you have children who work in the business and children who do not work in the business...
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2 Self-Made Problems That Can Harm Your Planning

​ Planning for your business' future success is a long-term effort in problem solving. Usually, the problems you'll try to solve result from the natural evolution of the business. For example, as your business has grown, you may have hired more employees or managers to keep pace. Problems like these are good problems to have. But as many owners cre...
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Turning a Lifestyle Business Into a Business Enterprise

​ Many business owners start their companies as lifestyle businesses to support a certain kind of lifestyle that they want. Some found businesses because they have an urge to create and build. Others want to be their own bosses. Still others want to control their own destinies. Whatever the reason, many businesses start as and evolve into lifestyle...
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A Planning Process for Future Success

​ Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something while you live and it is in your power. –Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Building a successful business likely took you years of deliberate planning. From your initial business plan to now, you've built something worth protecting and worthy o...
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Protecting What You Care About: Business, Family, & Employees

​ As a business owner, you're likely the most important person in your business. You're probably the breadwinner for your family. Your employees rely on your leadership and success for their livelihood. A lot of people depend on you. What would happen if, without warning, you were to die or become incapable of running the business? Many business ow...
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Maintaining Control, Minimizing Risk, and Rewarding Your Best Employees

​ For many small-to-mid-market business owners, there are few things more important than maintaining control of the company, minimizing risks for the company, and rewarding the employees that make the company successful. Ownership transfers to the company's most valuable employees can do all of these things with proper planning, but there is a cave...
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Whether You Sell Your Business or Not, the Planning Is the Same

​ There are many things for you to consider as you think about the future of your business ownership: When is the right time to move on? How much money will I need? How do I even sell this business? These questions dovetail into an important decision you'll try to make early in the process of planning your future: Whom you'll sell or transfer your ...
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3 Things That Can Build Future Business Value

Building business value is a core reason you wake up and run your business every day. As your business grows in value, it can position you to find new clients; keep current clients happy; support your employees financially and intellectually; and provide a nest egg for yourself, your family, and any charitable organizations you work with. Many busi...
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Why Make Your Business More Valuable Without You?

Businesses that rely on their owners as the primary source of success are common. They're also the most dangerous kind of business to own when you want to plan for the future of your ownership interest. Unless your goal for the future of your ownership is to liquidate the business and shut it down, you'll likely need to build your business' transfe...
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Is Your Business Worth as Much as You Think?

As a successful business owner, you know that your business has value. It likely supports the lifestyle you and your family live. It provides a paycheck and perhaps benefits to the people you employ. The products or services you provide are meaningful to your clients. But if someone asked you, "How much is your business worth?" could you confidentl...
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Working Backward: 3 Questions to Ask About Your Planning

Do you remember trying to solve a complex maze as a child? You'd start at the beginning, trace a line toward what you thought was the correct path to the end, only to run headlong into a wall. So, you'd start again, only to run into a different wall. But then, someone who had experience solving complex mazes may have suggested, "Start at the end: I...
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Incentivizing Your Best Employees to Stay

When thinking about business planning, one aspect you may be tempted to overlook is the contributions of your key employees. Key employees are the lifeblood of well-run businesses, and they play an important role when owners begin to plan for their businesses' futures, especially when owners begin to plan for their inevitable business exits. Many o...
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3 Things to Remember About Third-Party Sales

As a business owner, you're likely used to having as much control over how the business functions as possible. You're the go-to person for big decisions and you own the consequences of those decisions, whether they're good or bad. This attitude is often good and sometimes necessary for the business' success. But when you begin to consider how you will plan for your business' future, you might be positioning your business poorly, especially if you have any intentions to one day sell your business to a third party.

In this article, we'll outline three facts about third-party sales and present a few consequences you might face if you aren't aware of these facts.

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How Business Owners Are Approaching Their Futures

As a business owner, you know that planning is crucial, and that the new year is typically when you implement new strategies. As the new year begins, many business owners have begun to examine what they'll do, if anything, about the long-term future of their businesses.

Winston Churchill once said, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Today, we'll look at what we're hearing from business owners regarding their long-term business planning to help you gauge what other business owners are thinking and doing and see where you stand.

A Gap Between Thinking and Doing:

Rarely do successful businesses simply appear from the ether without rhyme or reason. Successful businesses are often the result of diligent planning and action items that owners and their teams implement. This is especially true of long-term planning. When planning for years down the line, it's helpful to have both an idea about where you want yourself and your business to be, and the flexibility to adjust to the unforeseen.

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How to Leverage Your Strengths in a Business Exit

When preparing for a large-scale event - such as an extended trip to a foreign country, sending the kids to college, or preparing your business for the future - the planning required can sometimes look too big and unwieldy to pursue. Planning for the future of your business might be one of the largest-scale financial events of your life, which implies that planning is paramount. How can you plan for a business exit when you have so many other things to do?
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Why Maintaining Planning Momentum is Important

Planning for major events can sometimes cause a sense of dread. Whether it's planning a honeymoon, a long family trip, or a business exit, it's easy to say, "I'll do it later, when I'm less busy." While planning a business exit should never encompass your entire life, there are several reasons why you should keep your planning momentum going, inste...
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